For the past ten months I’ve been managing anxiety attacks and mild depression. It’s been a challenging time. In every sense.
I was prescribed medication. However, it amplified the anxiety attacks and the negative emotions. The New Zealand health system in respect to mental health is challenged (to put it politely). As my case was mild, I had to find my own way forward given the lengthy wait list.
The Pandemic and the lockdown came at a good time for me really. I was one of the lucky ones. I was able to work from home which meant the pressure was taken off me as I was confronted by difficult emotions. It meant I could take care of myself and enact the tools I’ve learnt over the past 25 years or so. It also meant I could work through the emotions experienced without worrying how I was impacting people around me, particularly because I live alone.
Every journey is unique. What works for one person may not work for another. I’ve been very lucky that my body has been very receptive to things other than medication. However, for some people, medication is a lifesaver. For that we need to be thankful.
The following seven things have worked wonderfully for me and I’m thankful they’ve helped me back on to even keel.
Essential Oils have really been my friends for (gulp!) nearly 30 years. Using the oils and having aromatherapy massage once a fortnight has helped me take the edge off the emotional rollercoaster.
My moods are partially affected by shifting hormones. Essential oils are vegetable hormones and some of them have the same chemical structure as oestrogen. I made myself a special body balm made of shea butter and coconut oil with essential oils which have oestrogenic and hormone balancing properties, combined with a calming effect on the nervous system (If you would like to know more about this blend, take a look at my Lovitude Series Relax products).
2. Tulsi Tea
A friend suggested I give Tulsi Tea a go to help me sleep. A big part of my problem was that I wasn’t sleeping. And it was getting to the point where I was not able to function.
I sourced the dried herb at the local organic store and infused it in hot water each night.
Tulsi is also known as Holy Basil (Ociumum Tenuiflorum) and it also helps with anxiety and stress.
Music has played a very important role is helping me elevate my moods. Oxytocin and endorphins are apparently released when you sing.
During Lockdown, I set myself the task of learning to play the ukelele. Every time I felt the cloud descending I’d pick up the uke to strum and sing my guts out. Amazingly it worked (although during the hardest times I was doing it every half an hour which made my fingers a bit raw).
I also introduced a blend of Maca Root mixed with yoghurt every morning too which is wonderful for menopausal symptoms.
5. Journalling & Meditation
Being a person who internalises a lot, expressing emotions and feelings is crucial for me. It also provides a way that I can work my way toward perspective too. It also fosters a practice of mindfulness and self-expression.
A couple of years ago, I had an article titled, Re-Learning the Joy of Living with Journaling and Meditation published on brainblogger.com about the benefits of self-reflection and gratitude.
6. Exercise & Nature
To get the endorphins coursing, I took up a couch to 5k challenge during Lockdown, and I got out walking every day. And I ensured I went somewhere nice (although admittedly during Lockdown the options were somewhat limited). Nevertheless it really helped.
Nurturing yourself with good nutrition helps the mindset. The mindful practice of preparing wholesome meals helped me a great deal. Particularly given that my emotional crutch has always been emotional eating.
Brassica vegetables help with the metabolism of oestrogen. At a time where I felt so out of control, looking after myself nutritionally was a way I could take charge of my own wellbeing. And I felt so much better for it.
I’m currently still waiting for a DHB referral to a Counsellor. However, over the past couple of weeks I’ve made good progress. Really good progress. The cloud doesn’t seem to hang so low now.
I’m back working in the office full-time and connecting with friends. It got to a point where it was important for me to be back around people. And in doing so, I realised the importance of community and connection.
I hope this article helps you on your journey! xx
Feature photo courtesy of Pixabay.